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February 1, 2016

NYSID Supports Assemblyman Santabarbara’s Autism Action Plan

Category: General — NYSID @ 3:56 pm

NYSID recently participated in a media event with NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-111) and community leaders introducing his Autism Action Plan to create services and supports enhancing the quality of life of New Yorkers living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and supporting their families and caregivers.

Joe Messina, NYSID’s vice president of sales, speaks during a media event with community leaders introducing NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara's Autism Action Plan

The event took place on January 29 at The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region in Schenectady. Joe Messina, NYSID’s vice president of sales, attended the event on behalf of Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO.

“This package of bills could make a difference for thousands of families across the state –– and it hits home for me,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara, whose 14-year-old son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. “As the father of a teenage son with autism, I know firsthand the challenges that families in similar situations to mine face each and every day. I want the parents, siblings, friends and other caretakers of people with autism across the state to take comfort in knowing that they are not alone. I’m fighting to create more opportunities for those living with autism, and it’s my hope that this package of legislation will unlock the potential for thousands of New Yorkers.”

The Assemblyman’s proposed legislation calls for the creation and administration of adult service delivery models and the development of resources to support individuals with autism and their families across the lifespan.

One bill pertains to ACCES-VR and employment for New Yorkers living with ASD. Many individuals with disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, may have difficulty with interpersonal communication that can hinder their ability to find and maintain employment, even when they possess job skills, higher education, and access to existing vocational rehabilitation services.

This bill addresses these challenges by directing the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department to incorporate a rehabilitation services program throughout the state that includes communication support among the suite of services currently offered to job seekers.

“New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. celebrates the contributions of New Yorkers living with Autism Spectrum Disorders to the social and economic well-being of NYS communities,” Romano said. “We applaud Assemblymember Santabarbara for his comprehensive autism action plan designed to create services and supports for these New Yorkers, their families and caregivers. We join the Assemblymember in his call to include communication support services through vocational programs like ACCES-VR, to improve employment outcomes for some job-seekers, particularly those with autism.”

Other bills in the Assemblyman’s Autism Action Plan would create an Autism ID Card, a State Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board, an Autism Home Loan Program and a Communication & Technology Bill of Rights for People with Developmental Disabilities. The bill package has the support of NYSID, the Autism Society, Schenectady ARC, Liberty ARC and GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership), all of whom were represented at the event.

Among the media outlets covering the event were: Time Warner Cable News, News 10, WAMC Northeast Public Radio and The Leader-Herald.



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